News & Media


Press Release May 2017

Join The Tandana Foundation for its Enriching October 2017 Health Care Volunteer Vacation in Ecuador



Spring Valley, Ohio-- The Tandana Foundation is offering individuals a unique opportunity to combine their desire to experience a different culture with their desire to make a difference. Tandana is hosting its October 2017 Health Care Volunteer Vacation in Quichinche Parish, located in the breathtakingly beautiful highlands of Ecuador. This is the 22nd Health Care Volunteer Vacation hosted by Tandana.


The trip will take place from October 7th to the 14th, 2017. This volunteer vacation will give participants a chance to experience the culture of Ecuador as guests rather than tourists and form cross-cultural friendships.


Volunteers will work as a team to provide medical care to community members in rural communities surrounding the city of Otavalo. Both medical professionals and other willing volunteers are welcome. Please note that you do not need to be a medical professional to have a meaningful impact.


An orientation, welcome session and language lesson will be held on the first day. In the mornings on the remaining days, the volunteers will visit a different community to set up a health clinic at either a community center or school.


The afternoons will be filled with enjoyable activities for the volunteers to enjoy the region's rich culture and beauty. These activities may include hikes to sacred sites, excursions to see natural wonders, cooking classes, visits to local artisans and shopping. At night, volunteers will relax at a comfortable hotel in Otavalo.


This trip cost is $1,650 for a shared room. This cost includes transportation in Ecuador, food, lodging, and all planned group activities. It does not include airfare or personal expenses. If an individual wishes to have a single room, please add $100 to the cost of the trip. For more information on the Health Care Volunteer Vacation or to register for the trip, please visit


Press Release October 2016

Upper Arlington Resident and Tandana Board Member Participated

in the Foundation's 10th Anniversary Trip in Ecuador


Spring Valley, Ohio – As part of The Tandana Foundation's year-long campaign commemorating the 10th anniversary of the foundation receiving its non-profit status and celebrating its first decade of changing people's lives through its work in Ecuador and Mali, Tandana recently organized a 10th anniversary trip for some of its Board of Trustees members and staff members to Ecuador.


This trip provided board and staff members, with an opportunity to see the impact that Tandana's work has had on rural communities, work alongside community members on community projects, and celebrate Tandana's momentous milestone with local friends. Eighteen individuals participated in this celebratory trip. Upper Arlington resident and Tandana Board Member Susan Napier was one of the participants.


"The opportunity to travel last month to Otavalo, Ecuador, with members of the Tandana Foundation Board of Trustees and to gather together there with staff and community members was both a privilege and a joy," said Napier.


The trip was held from September 25th to October 1st. The group stayed at a hotel in the city of Otavalo and spent their days visiting communities that have partnered with Tandana over the years.


The group worked alongside community members on various projects in the communities they visited. In Muenala, the participants helped plant trees to promote reforestation and then joined in a community lunch. In Quichinche, they planted ornamental flowers and bushes at the school garden, and toured one of the health centers Tandana partners with during its Health Care Volunteer Vacations.


They helped paint the community center in Cutambi. After the painting was done, everyone attended a service presided over by a local shaman who blessed the space. After the service, they enjoyed a delicious community lunch. Community members and participants cleaned mud from the gutters along the main road in Agualongo.


The trip was filled with numerous celebrations in honor of Tandana's 10th anniversary. In Tangali the group participated in a celebration at the community school. Community members in Quichinche put together a grand carnival of student presentations involving dances, speeches and music performances.


A final 10th anniversary party was held in Panecillo on the last day of the trip. This festivity included dancing, food and speeches. Along with the celebrations held in the communities, individuals who collaborated with Tandana through the years joined the group for dinner and shared their stories about working with the foundation.


Along with community workdays and celebrations, presentations about different parts of Tandana's work were also a big part of this trip. There was a presentation about Tandana's work in Mali. Tandana's Scholarship Coordinator and Patient Follow-Up Coordinator both gave presentations about the programs they oversee. Two staff members gave a presentation about working with the communities. Board members also presented on various topics. These topics included teambuilding, teamwork and storytelling.


As busy as they were, the group still had time to see some of the region's landmarks and natural wonders. They visited the world-renowned Otavalo market, the equator and the Condor Park. They made a delicious traditional Ecuadorian meal at Samyanuy Cooking School and visited the hot springs in Tangali.

 Press Release April 2016
 The Tandana Foundation Awarded a Grant from Dining for Women to Support Its Literacy Program in Mali

Spring Valley, Ohio The Tandana Foundation is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $47,980 grant by Dining for Women, a nonprofit organization that funds grassroots programs working in developing countries to fight gender inequality. The grant will help support Tandana's Literacy Program for women in Mali.


“It’s wonderful to have the support of Dining for Women for this program, which will have deep and far-reaching impacts on women’s self-sufficiency and leadership capacity in Bandiagara Circle, Mali.  Seeing the students’ enthusiasm for the new skills they are acquiring through our literacy program makes me even more excited about being able to continue the program and offer more training,” said Tandana’s Founding Director Anna Taft.


Women in Mali's Bandiagara Circle asked Tandana to start basic literacy and numeracy classes so that they could negotiate better in the marketplace, run their micro-businesses and support their families independently. By the end of 2016, 1117 women in 30 different villages will have participated in the basic classes. These classes have made a huge difference in the women's lives.


"We thank The Tandana Foundation.  Because of you, we can recognize telephone numbers. We go to the market and we can manage because we are able to recognize the numbers.  We can now write and read by ourselves," said Salimata Kanambaye, a literacy student from the village of Orsongho.


The women, who are highly motivated, asked Tandana for more support to help them continue learning. In the future, Tandana will offer advanced literacy classes along with training workshops in association management, democratic governance and leadership skills. The grant will help support these new classes and workshops. The new classes and workshops will enable the women to network their micro-businesses and access government support, making it possible for them to achieve greater self-sufficiency and fulfill potential leadership positions within their villages.


For this six-month funding cycle, Dining for Women received 70 letters of inquiry seeking a grant. Dining for Women then invited 15 organizations to submit a full proposal. Tandana was one of six organizations awarded a grant.


The Tandana Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports cross-cultural volunteer opportunities, scholarships, and community projects in highland Ecuador and Mali's Dogon Country. For more information or to sign-up for a volunteer vacation, please visit


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Media Contact: Susan Koller, Public Relations Specialist


Press Release February 2016

The Tandana Foundation Announces Its 10th Anniversary Campaign


Spring Valley, Ohio-The Tandana Foundation is excited to announce the start of its "Ten Years of Joining Hands and Changing Lives" campaign. This year-long campaign commemorates the 10th anniversary of Tandana receiving its nonprofit status and celebrates the foundation's decade of changing people's lives through its work in Ecuador and Mali.


"The theme for our 10-year anniversary, “Joining Hands and Changing Lives,” highlights what is most important to Tandana: relationships. Forging positive relationships is at the heart of our international volunteer programs and community development projects as well as our school scholarship fund. These opportunities to live, labor, and laugh with people of diverse cultural backgrounds broadens our worldviews, strengthens our communities, and propels us all toward our potential—not as isolated individuals but as globally interdependent ones. In this way, our ability to change lives is amplified exponentially," said Juliana Essen, Tandana's Operations Director.


This campaign consists of many events to mark Tandana's momentous milestone. A special 10th anniversary trip to Ecuador for Tandana board and staff members will be held from September 24th to October 2nd. The goal of this trip is to bring board and staff members together, to recognize the good that has been done, and to shape plans for the future. Tandana will also hold a celebration in mid-November in central Ohio to express thanks to those who have made Tandana’s work possible.  Other commemorations will take place throughout the year, including blog posts by long-time supporters and special giving opportunities.

The Tandana Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports cross-cultural volunteer opportunities, scholarships, and community projects in highland Ecuador and Mali's Dogon Country. For more information or to sign-up for a volunteer vacation, please visit


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Media Contact: Susan Koller, Public Relations Specialist